Anybody can throw a punch. It’s evading those punches that make boxing the sport it is. Fight Night Round 4 retains that quality by rewarding patient fighters with a counter-punch system, while also letting knockout artists enjoy their time in the sun as well.
But at the end of the day, while slugfests are fun, they are not conducive to consistent success. Getting a knockout is nice, but winning on the scorecards definitely still counts. So here are some tools of the trade for the sweet science. They won’t guarantee you a victory, but you will avoid the toss-up nature of a brawl.
Frustrate Your Opponent
Everyone hates the guy who blocks the whole fight. But since a counter punch is the most effective punch in the game, you can rack up points from the judges and damage your opponent in the process. Spend the first few rounds avoiding your opponent, taking a few poignant shots at him when you can. During this process be wary and figure out how your opponent wants to beat you.
Every fighter also has a rhythm, either in real life or in FNR4. A boxer's style or rhythm is his comfort zone. Your job is to take him out of his comfort zone. Push your opponent around, grab him, even toss in a head-butt to keep him guessing. Just don’t let this become your rhythm. Keep your opponent in the dark and make him uncomfortable. Bernard Hopkins has been doing this for years, and I wouldn’t argue with his success.
In and Out
No, not the West Coast burger joint. This is about dipping in and out, keeping your head on a swivel and your feet shuffling at all times. Your opponent can’t hit what he can’t catch. Jump in, hit him with a combo and then get out of town. Working the body in the early rounds is important, but you must be aware that it’s not fruitful right away. While your opponent's head will be mostly clean later, he won’t be able to keep up with you as time goes on. Just mix up your punches and you should be fine. Being predictable is never a positive.
If you steal the early rounds, your opponent will definitely be looking to make up for lost time. This is where an impatient fighter tries to get the knockout. You can strike here with some counter punches. During this time his stamina will drop and you will be fresh for the later rounds. This approach works for any fighter and against any fighter. Though we all love a first round KO, Mike Tyson’s uppercut is even more effective on a weakened opponent.
Stick to Your Game Plan
Getting tagged can make a man do crazy things. Being stunned or staring at the lights for a few seconds may have you thinking about overcompensating for the rest of the round. That’s exactly what you should be avoiding. If you knock someone down with a quick uppercut or hook, it doesn’t mean that you have got the fight in the bag. Get on your bicycle and stick with what got you there. Twelve rounds is a long time, but it makes no sense to drop your guard late in the game. If you are holding on for dear life after a few knockdowns, you can still show you’re resilient and able to withstand the assault. A loss may be inevitable at some point, but you can at least go out like a champion.
Much of this stuff sounds like common sense, but if your head is in the game, you’ll be tough to KO. The only trouble now is if your opponent follows the same guide. But if that's the case, at least you’re guaranteed a decision from the judges. After all, there is no shame in taking the fight to the limit, and that's what you should be ready for every fight anyway. Stick mashers and sharpshooters beware.